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Organist Maxine Thévenot to perform Canadian composers’ works

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Cathedral of St. John will ring with the sounds of Canadian composers on Sunday.

Organist Maxine Thévenot will perform works reflecting her Canadian roots, three of them penned by female composers.

The concert will open with Ruth Watson Henderson’s “Celebration,” written to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian College of Organists in 2009. Thévenot premiered the piece at London’s Westminster Abbey.

“It’s very jubilant and uses lots of trumpets and tubas,” Thévenot said. “It’s got that royal feeling about it.”

The mood shifts with 20th century composer Jeanne Landry’s “Hesychia,” Greek for the practice of shutting out the world for prayer and contemplation.

“It’s a very gentle piece,” Thévenot said.

Fellow Canadian Rachel Laurin wrote “Finale Opus 78” in a highly romantic style.

“She’s probably one of Canada’s top female composers at the moment,” Thévenot said. “It’s very chromatic; it’s a very challenging work. The feet are very busy.”

The non-Canadians on the program include the English composer/arranger Frank Bridge. Bridge was the teacher and mentor of the composer Benjamin Britten. Thévenot will perform his Adagio in E Major.

“It’s a very beautiful work that unfolds in a symphonic fashion,” she said. “He’s an important bridge composer to the late 19th century and mid-20th century music in England.

“There’s a symphonic theme to the program, and people will get to hear the organ in a very romantic, symphonic way.”